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Old 04-18-2008, 08:16 PM   #1
jonathan7
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Freedom and Tolerance?

Howdies all,

I have my little note section on facebook, and am running a little summing up series, but thought it would be interesting to gather to hear some of your thoughts about one such note....

This is basically because I think freedom of speech is slowly being eroded (in the UK can't speak for the rest of the west) and at least my generation seems to stupid (well actually too drunk) to care.

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Originally Posted by Me
This is written in some senses as a follow up for a few friends to questions they have had to some of my previous notes; mainly my last note ‘the problem of evil’. I hope and would predict that many of you may well find this interesting, I shall begin with thoughts on freedom of speech and tolerance.

Now I would like to start this note, by pointing out a quote (well a summing up) of a Frenchman I greatly admire. He is one of those men who shone out during histories darker moments, defended the weak and spoke out against tyranny and oppression. His name is Voltaire and he lived over 300 years ago; it is a quote that should be quoted and believed more for the evils that are political correctness and conformity is killing this noble ideal; “I disagree with what you have to say, but will defend to the death your right to say it”.

My good friend Rob has leant me his book the God Delusion, it is a book I have speed read before, and am currently re-reading it. I may disagree with what Richard Dawkins may say (though it is a very witty book), but I will always uphold his right to say what he does, I hope that you can extend this courtesy to me.

In the Matrix Morpheus remarks to Neo; “I'm trying to free your mind, Neo. But I can only show you the door. You're the one that has to walk through it”. Enculturation is a funny old thing, it’s something very few are aware of – but it is something that is affecting the way you think right now. Indeed so mediocre is the British education system that people are taught WHAT to think, not HOW to think. A very dangerous state of affairs, as people can be easily manipulated through such means. Why do you think the way you do? Why do you believe what you do?

I have often been asked in night clubs by various friends what do I see? It usually comes after a very drunk girl is on her own and dancing or stumbling in the middle of the dance floor with quite a few people laughing at her. My answer is always that I see a lot of broken people seeking security and comfort in places where they are not going to find it, how did this come about?

Is it the avoidance of answering the big questions? Is modern society just about avoiding answering the bigger questions and just putting on a front of happiness? As if you don’t appear to be happy any more, your friends won’t want to know you? I would observe true friendship is shown when you are at your most unlovable and that who sticks with you then is a true friend. Indeed the friends to look for are those who have class; as "Class is how you treat people who can do nothing for you" - Geof Greenleaf

Western Culture these days is very shallow, materialistic and pluralistic. Indeed I would hypothesize a great many people won’t be reading this right now as it’s ‘too deep’. I deeply feel sorry for these people; as so many centuries ago Socrates remarked “The unexamined life is not worth living.” I fully concur with this statement, I think it a sad life if you have never asked yourself a couple of these questions; ‘Why am I here?’, ‘What is the point of life?’ and ‘Is this all there is?’

Now Pluralism is something many people believe and it comes from a wrong view of tolerance; tolerance is tolerating a belief or idea that you disagree with and may very well think is quite offensive, but you allow someone to think and speak about it. I think the forefathers of the Enlightenment; Voltaire, Hume and Kant et al, would all despair of the way Western European culture has gone. If alive today I think they would ask “can we have our Enlightenment back please?”

As my good friend Chris pointed out perhaps the most articulate and elegant essay on the subject of liberty and tolerance comes from the English Philosopher John Stuart Mill’s work ‘On Liberty’. It’s a very interesting piece, the main points of the trieste are that to be truly free everyone should have the right to think and feel as they want; moreover they should have the right to ‘freedom of speech’ which means they should have the right to express their opinions no matter how controversial or idiotic. Continuing on from this he thought those with evil opinions should be allowed to be heard; so that everyone could be shown how their (those with evil) opinions were wrong. I very much agree with this way of doing things.

I often hear that ‘all religions lead to God’ (this is an example of pluralism), however have you really thought this statement out? Let me give you two sources to argue against this statement, one from an Atheist and the other from a Christian.

The famous and brilliant atheist philosopher Bertrand Russell remarks in the introduction/pretext to his book ‘Why I am not a Christian’; “I think all the great religions of the world-Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity, Islam and Communism-both untrue and harmful. It is evident as a matter of logic that, since they disagree, not more than one of them can be true”.

The Christian Stephen Gaukroger remarks ‘To say “All roads lead to God” is as illogical as saying that a bus ride to the shops is much the same as taking a trip to the moon on a space shuttle. The route, mode of transport and destination are all completely different!’ (It Makes Sense, Scripture Union).

With that in mind I would draw your attention to myself and one of my best friends Rob; he is an ardent atheist I am a devout Christian, we both disagree with each other’s position, and know that only one of us can be right, however we tolerate and respect each other’s opinion even if we ultimately disagree. We will often debate trying to change the others mind, but ultimately accepting that we will have to agree to disagree; aware though that no-more than one of us can be right, and perhaps both wrong.

Interestingly a widely travelled friend of mine from the East observed that Western Countries are the most intolerant countries with regards those who have something to say outside of their own frame of reference. I would concur and conclude this is because of this wrong view of tolerance many people have. I shall leave you to mull over that for now, I hope you have found it interesting and thought provoking.



"Love is the only reality and it is not a mere sentiment. It is the ultimate truth that lies at the heart of creation." - Rabindranath Tagore

"Many a doctrine is like a window pane. We see truth through it but it divides us from truth." - Kahlil Gibran
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Old 04-18-2008, 09:25 PM   #2
SilentScope001
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Bertrand Russell called Communism a religion? That is quite plainly...um...

Listen, tolerance is not just a virtue, it's also a vice. If you are tolerant of other people's ideologies, then that guy's ideology may spread. If people are tolerant of, say, Nazism, and will be willing to allow for the free and fair discussion over the theories of Aryan supermacy, Nazism is just going to gain followers and support.

I do understand that tolerance is a nice thing to have, but then you have to learn to be fully tolerant yourself. You have to be tolerant of intolerance too, because the person who is intolerant is intolerant for a reason. He doesn't feel the other side is correct, and he fears that if he lets that other guy promotes his ideology, other people may turn wrong too.

If you are only tolerant of 'tolerance', and if you are intolerant to 'intolerance', then you are, quite plainly, a hypocrite, willing to put a stamp on approval on only some ideologies, but not all. I firmly do believe in tolerance, but I can understand why other people would wish to be intolerant, and I say, "More power to ya!" But I promote tolerance not to defend freedom, but rather to stop violence: The more people are tolerant of other people's viewpoints, the less likely they are to flame each other, cut off communications with each other, or even blow each other up.

Quite frankly, though, while everyone have the freedom to speak, they do not have the right to be heard.


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Old 04-19-2008, 12:02 AM   #3
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Yeah, tolerance is like noticing someone who's different, and just remaining indifferent to the person's choice but also not going against that person. It's not the same as acceptance. Acceptance is fully embracing that concept with support and approval. For example, I tolerate artificial birth control, as in while I don't think it should be made illegal and immoral, I also don't think I would support it and the people who use it, either. Tolerance is essentially being neutral, not criticizing one's actions, but also not wholeheartingly approving it. It's their choice, and I have no right to control it.

At least, that's how I see it. :|
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Old 04-19-2008, 03:15 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilentScope001
Bertrand Russell called Communism a religion? That is quite plainly...um...
Well that depends on how you define religion; if it is a set of beliefs that command obediance and take over an individuals life is that not a religion? I think however if communism is described as a religion, perhaps materialism and capitalism should be too.


Quote:
Originally Posted by SilentScope001
Quite frankly, though, while everyone have the freedom to speak, they do not have the right to be heard.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SilentScope001
Listen, tolerance is not just a virtue, it's also a vice. If you are tolerant of other people's ideologies, then that guy's ideology may spread. If people are tolerant of, say, Nazism, and will be willing to allow for the free and fair discussion over the theories of Aryan supermacy, Nazism is just going to gain followers and support.
The disadvantage with freedom of speech is that you have to put up with alof of rubish, I like Mill's theory in that those with bad opinions should be allowed to express them; to show them for who they are. I do however think there is a distinct difference between freedom of speech and freedom of action; an individual should be allowed to think and speak as they like; however as soon as something such as Nazism is expressed in action the state should move and deal with the individual.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SilentScope001
I do understand that tolerance is a nice thing to have, but then you have to learn to be fully tolerant yourself. You have to be tolerant of intolerance too, because the person who is intolerant is intolerant for a reason. He doesn't feel the other side is correct, and he fears that if he lets that other guy promotes his ideology, other people may turn wrong too.
To produce the most creative culture, freedom of thought is especially needed for the intelligentsia. Intolerance is where things like the holocaust, persecutions etc begin. Be it the way Christians are treated in many Muslim countries, or athiests in the more religiously fervant parts of the US. Perhaps the biggest problem many have with organised religion is that it breeds intolerance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SilentScope001
If you are only tolerant of 'tolerance', and if you are intolerant to 'intolerance', then you are, quite plainly, a hypocrite, willing to put a stamp on approval on only some ideologies, but not all. I firmly do believe in tolerance, but I can understand why other people would wish to be intolerant, and I say, "More power to ya!" But I promote tolerance not to defend freedom, but rather to stop violence: The more people are tolerant of other people's viewpoints, the less likely they are to flame each other, cut off communications with each other, or even blow each other up.
Just because you allow someone to speak does not mean you agree with them, take your Nazism argument earlier, I would adhere that the Nazi should be allowed to speak, but I would argue strongly against them and regard them as quite frankly a xenophobic idiot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SilentScope001
Quite frankly, though, while everyone have the freedom to speak, they do not have the right to be heard.
Indeed, but then who decides who should be heard?



"Love is the only reality and it is not a mere sentiment. It is the ultimate truth that lies at the heart of creation." - Rabindranath Tagore

"Many a doctrine is like a window pane. We see truth through it but it divides us from truth." - Kahlil Gibran
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Old 04-19-2008, 04:56 PM   #5
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People in power don't want tolerance- they want control. That's the problem right there.


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Old 04-19-2008, 05:11 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcesious
People in power don't want tolerance- they want control. That's the problem right there.
Really, is that with a review of every leader in history? Anyways, with regards the topic, why does what the people in power think matter?



"Love is the only reality and it is not a mere sentiment. It is the ultimate truth that lies at the heart of creation." - Rabindranath Tagore

"Many a doctrine is like a window pane. We see truth through it but it divides us from truth." - Kahlil Gibran
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Old 04-19-2008, 05:20 PM   #7
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Given human nature, the answer to your first question above is probably more often than not. To the second, what they think often has a lasting impact on what happens to other people. Doesn't mean that you should change your own thinking, but in this world power gives them a lot more influence over events than the average joe.


Now, I want you to remember that no bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor, dumb bastard die for his country.---Patton

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Old 04-19-2008, 07:21 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf
Given human nature, the answer to your first question above is probably more often than not. To the second, what they think often has a lasting impact on what happens to other people. Doesn't mean that you should change your own thinking, but in this world power gives them a lot more influence over events than the average joe.
While I agree often those in power crave it, abuse it and do what they can to keep their power, what does this really tell us? Does it tell us that those in power abuse it, or only that those who desire power abuse it. In other words perhaps philosophers who do not desire power, would not abuse it if they had it? In some respects its a question that perhaps does not have an answer.

Perhaps the average joe in a democracy has forgotten how much power they really have...



"Love is the only reality and it is not a mere sentiment. It is the ultimate truth that lies at the heart of creation." - Rabindranath Tagore

"Many a doctrine is like a window pane. We see truth through it but it divides us from truth." - Kahlil Gibran
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Old 04-19-2008, 08:57 PM   #9
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Well, you know the old addage....the race doesn't always go to the swiftest or fight to the strongest, but that's usually the way to bet. Usually, the people who end up in power are there b/c they desired it in the first place (and had the ability to get there). Whether the power consequently corrupts them or they're just inherently that flawed in the first place is, as you intimate, a big question mark.

Also, the average guy doesn't often have the luxury of living in a system where his voice counts. Where he does, he's often at odds with other joes who are in opposition to what he seeks. For the leaders, even in a "democracy", it can be as simple as divide and conquer.


Now, I want you to remember that no bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor, dumb bastard die for his country.---Patton

There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism.---Teddy Roosevelt

I never forget a face, but in your case I'll make an exception.---Groucho

And if you all get killed, I'll piss on your graves.---Shaman Urdnot

How would you like to own a little bit of my foot in your ass.---Red Foreman
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Old 04-19-2008, 09:34 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf
Well, you know the old addage....the race doesn't always go to the swiftest or fight to the strongest, but that's usually the way to bet. Usually, the people who end up in power are there b/c they desired it in the first place (and had the ability to get there). Whether the power consequently corrupts them or they're just inherently that flawed in the first place is, as you intimate, a big question mark.
Indeed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf
Also, the average guy doesn't often have the luxury of living in a system where his voice counts. Where he does, he's often at odds with other joes who are in opposition to what he seeks. For the leaders, even in a "democracy", it can be as simple as divide and conquer.
Aye, unfortunatly it seems clear to me, many democrotic leaders, are more bothered about winning and staying in power once they have it than about the general state of the country. In the UK, we see this in continual short term game policies which have a long term cost.

With regards freedom of speech it is slowly being destroyed here, political correctness and pluralism are killing it. Its a tragedy IMO, and I think the Country will suffer for it, Europe is going this way too; can't speak for things stateside.



"Love is the only reality and it is not a mere sentiment. It is the ultimate truth that lies at the heart of creation." - Rabindranath Tagore

"Many a doctrine is like a window pane. We see truth through it but it divides us from truth." - Kahlil Gibran
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Old 04-19-2008, 10:58 PM   #11
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Sadly, I don't think we're all that far behind you guys.


Now, I want you to remember that no bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor, dumb bastard die for his country.---Patton

There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism.---Teddy Roosevelt

I never forget a face, but in your case I'll make an exception.---Groucho

And if you all get killed, I'll piss on your graves.---Shaman Urdnot

How would you like to own a little bit of my foot in your ass.---Red Foreman
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Old 04-19-2008, 11:55 PM   #12
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Perhaps we should start teaching 'patience/tolerance classes' in schools... Who nows? Doing something like that with the next generation may help fix mankind a little bit... just an idea.


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Old 04-20-2008, 12:23 AM   #13
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I have to agree with SS001 that tolerance for the sake of tolerance is NOT a virtue. A society may tolerate people holding certain views, but it might not tolerate the enactment of such viewpoints b/c doing so might be risk it's own existence. One's views on anarchy, for instance, might be tolerated in the interests of academic freedom perhaps, but attempting to foment said anarchy might result in your own demise.


Now, I want you to remember that no bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor, dumb bastard die for his country.---Patton

There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism.---Teddy Roosevelt

I never forget a face, but in your case I'll make an exception.---Groucho

And if you all get killed, I'll piss on your graves.---Shaman Urdnot

How would you like to own a little bit of my foot in your ass.---Red Foreman
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Old 04-20-2008, 07:08 AM   #14
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^^my freedom to wave my arm ends where the other mans nose begins.

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With regards freedom of speech it is slowly being destroyed here, political correctness and pluralism are killing it.
Too true, right now some nutters in norway wish to ban non-norwegian flags during our semi-independence day celebration. The truly sad part is that the supporters of the bil are the same that cried loudest for freedom of spech during the "Mohammad-cartoon" chaos.

Quote:
Perhaps we should start teaching 'patience/tolerance classes' in schools... Who nows? Doing something like that with the next generation may help fix mankind a little bit... just an idea
Don't you learn that in social science classes? At least we do.


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Old 04-20-2008, 10:04 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf
I have to agree with SS001 that tolerance for the sake of tolerance is NOT a virtue. A society may tolerate people holding certain views, but it might not tolerate the enactment of such viewpoints b/c doing so might be risk it's own existence. One's views on anarchy, for instance, might be tolerated in the interests of academic freedom perhaps, but attempting to foment said anarchy might result in your own demise.
But why should an individual have to conform to a society? If they only effect themselves and their friends, why should they have to conform to society. So with the example of an anarchist, why shouldn't they go and form a little commune in the middle of no-where with their friends, who are they hurting?

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Originally Posted by mur'phon
Too true, right now some nutters in norway wish to ban non-norwegian flags during our semi-independence day celebration. The truly sad part is that the supporters of the bil are the same that cried loudest for freedom of spech during the "Mohammad-cartoon" chaos.
That has to be one of the stupidest things I've heard... Why on earth would you want to ban other flags? Then again I've never really got the whole flag burning thing either!



"Love is the only reality and it is not a mere sentiment. It is the ultimate truth that lies at the heart of creation." - Rabindranath Tagore

"Many a doctrine is like a window pane. We see truth through it but it divides us from truth." - Kahlil Gibran
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Old 04-20-2008, 11:15 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf
I have to agree with SS001 that tolerance for the sake of tolerance is NOT a virtue. A society may tolerate people holding certain views, but it might not tolerate the enactment of such viewpoints b/c doing so might be risk it's own existence. One's views on anarchy, for instance, might be tolerated in the interests of academic freedom perhaps, but attempting to foment said anarchy might result in your own demise.
To a point. there's a matter of how they go about putting that into effect. They should have the right to the degree that it doesn't negatively impact anyone else's right to live their lives as they choose, express their own views (however right or wrong), and associate with whom they want to associate (presuming they don't force their presence on people that don't want to associate with them).

Quote:
Originally Posted by mur'phon
^^my freedom to wave my arm ends where the other mans nose begins.
That's why I specifically favor liberty, and not just blanket calls for freedom with no context for the word.

And how do you define tolerance? Freedom from oppression? Disapproval? I'd say that the first should be commended. The other, some things deserve disapproval.


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"Justice is the midpoint between being treated unjustly, and treating others unjustly." Aristotle
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Old 04-20-2008, 11:24 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Jvstice
That's why I specifically favor liberty, and not just blanket calls for freedom with no context for the word.

And how do you define tolerance? Freedom from oppression? Disapproval? I'd say that the first should be commended. The other, some things deserve disapproval.
Agreed, but again seeing disproval as a bad thing, is at least to me not what tolerance is about, as tolerance, is tolerating a thought you may think is offensive. At the same time; I differentiate between thought, speech and action, the latter two people should be free too, while action is where their liberty ends. I would reccomend for those who haven't read it; John Stuart Mill’s essay ‘On Liberty’.



"Love is the only reality and it is not a mere sentiment. It is the ultimate truth that lies at the heart of creation." - Rabindranath Tagore

"Many a doctrine is like a window pane. We see truth through it but it divides us from truth." - Kahlil Gibran
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Old 04-20-2008, 12:02 PM   #18
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Well that depends on how you define religion; if it is a set of beliefs that command obediance and take over an individuals life is that not a religion?
Nah, I think the definition that a religion as "a strong belief in a supernatural power or powers that control human destiny". I don't see anything supernatural about the idea of dialetic materialism or the inevtible rise of the working class. Political ideology, yes, but I'm not going to see Marx's spirit rise from the grave.

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The disadvantage with freedom of speech is that you have to put up with alof of rubish, I like Mill's theory in that those with bad opinions should be allowed to express them; to show them for who they are. I do however think there is a distinct difference between freedom of speech and freedom of action; an individual should be allowed to think and speak as they like; however as soon as something such as Nazism is expressed in action the state should move and deal with the individual.
That's the thing though, I don't think any idea is 'rubbish', and I don't think ideas can be seen as 'bad'...and I highly doubt that if an idea is in fact 'rubbish', that the majority of people hearing them would determine them to be rubbish. Denoucing an idea as being rubbish is not exactly 'tolerating' them, in my view.

By granting the Nazi the airtime he needs to promote his viewpoint, he may not be able to convince you that he is correct, but he may be able to link up with followers and sympathizers, and then be able to organize a coherent ideology. He could start convincing a couple of people, here or there, the rightfulness of his cause.

I would grant that 'freedom of action' is going to be made illegal (however I would personally disagree with it...), but if a Nazi gains critical mass for his movement, or at the very least get enough sympathy for his cause so that the Nazi can get safe spots, your ban on 'freedom of action' will be made moot. You granted the Nazi the ability to grow in power and strength, so when the conflict does reach into blows, it would be too late to stop the damage.

Quote:
To produce the most creative culture, freedom of thought is especially needed for the intelligentsia. Intolerance is where things like the holocaust, persecutions etc begin. Be it the way Christians are treated in many Muslim countries, or athiests in the more religiously fervant parts of the US. Perhaps the biggest problem many have with organised religion is that it breeds intolerance.
Creativity is in the eye of the beholder. And you can't fault people for preferring the stability of a society over that of a canvas of different and contray viewpoints, all claiming to be correct.

Intolerance is bred by people thinking they're right and fearing the possiblity of other opinons taking control and swaying people in the wrong direction. It doesn't matter if it is organized religion or the cadres of the French Revolution wanting to overthrow the monarchy. They're still intolerant.

Quote:
Just because you allow someone to speak does not mean you agree with them, take your Nazism argument earlier, I would adhere that the Nazi should be allowed to speak, but I would argue strongly against them and regard them as quite frankly a xenophobic idiot.
But claiming the guy as a xenophobic idiot sorta means you are intolerant towards his ideas. And by arguing against the Nazi, you are trying to counter his viewpoints, maybe because you honestly think they are wrong, or because you fear if other people may be swayed by his lies. In which case, wouldn't it be easier just to ban the ideology to begin with?

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Indeed, but then who decides who should be heard?
Hm. I forgot to finish that quote. I do. Basically, if I know there is a website that is spouting properganda that I hate, I do not go to that website. If I know that there is a radio station or a newspaper spouting properganda I hate, I do not listen to it. I do self-censor myself, but I don't self-censor myself against left-wing or right-wing properganda, except I really get irriatted by a particular issue and wishes to leave it.

I usually self-censor only because if I heard the other side, I would be so busy trying to counter it, and argue against it, and denounce it, that I wouldn't be able to focus on doing other stuff. I self-censor to stay sane.
****
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And how do you define tolerance? Freedom from oppression?
Freedom from 'Oppression' is not tolerance. Tolerance has everything to do with ensuring that people have the ability to choose and make desicions, and it is also the capaicty of respecting other people's beliefs, etc. You can be a non-oppressive government and still not tolerate people you hate. You can even arrest them for having unapproved ideologies, and still not be seen as oppressive, since opppression is the "the arbitrary and cruel exercise of power"...and I don't think Germany's ban on Nazism counts as being 'arbitrary and cruel'.


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Originally Posted by The Onion
"The Cambodian government has established many exciting-sounding 're-education camps' where both intellectuals and everyday citizens can be sent at any time," Day said. Well, we at Barnes & Noble have always supported re-education in America, and we intend to extend this policy to our new customers." For every hardcover book sold, Barnes & Noble will donate a dollar to the Cambodian government to help re-educate local children.
Full Article Here

Last edited by SilentScope001; 04-20-2008 at 12:15 PM.
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Old 04-20-2008, 05:09 PM   #19
Totenkopf
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But why should an individual have to conform to a society? If they only effect themselves and their friends, why should they have to conform to society. So with the example of an anarchist, why shouldn't they go and form a little commune in the middle of no-where with their friends, who are they hurting?
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To a point. there's a matter of how they go about putting that into effect. They should have the right to the degree that it doesn't negatively impact anyone else's right to live their lives as they choose, express their own views (however right or wrong), and associate with whom they want to associate (presuming they don't force their presence on people that don't want to associate with them).
Depends on to what degree you mean conform to society. In the case of anarchist, what is its goal but the dissolution of order (ie society)? If they wish to form "little communes" where they all agree to abide by the end result of their viewpoint or just wish to discuss it in academic settings, that's one thing. However if the "virus" of anarchism begins to spread through the rest of the society at large, that society will need to act to put an end to it (or heavily proscribe it) for its own self protection. But what if someone w/in the anarchist commune decides to steal from and or kill his/her companions? Does society just sit on the sidelines and do nothing (afterall, they did go off to the "middle of nowhere", presumably w/in the country itself) or act and trample upon the ideals of the nonconformist enclave in the arguable pursuit of justice? The French Revolution is a pretty good idea of what happens when anarchy runs amok. The first WW an end result of entangling alliances buggered by the acts of an anarchist.


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Old 04-20-2008, 05:47 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by SilentScope001
Nah, I think the definition that a religion as "a strong belief in a supernatural power or powers that control human destiny". I don't see anything supernatural about the idea of dialetic materialism or the inevtible rise of the working class. Political ideology, yes, but I'm not going to see Marx's spirit rise from the grave.
I think we will have to disagree over what constitutes a religion, my friend

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Originally Posted by SilentScope001
That's the thing though, I don't think any idea is 'rubbish', and I don't think ideas can be seen as 'bad'...and I highly doubt that if an idea is in fact 'rubbish', that the majority of people hearing them would determine them to be rubbish. Denoucing an idea as being rubbish is not exactly 'tolerating' them, in my view.
Hmmm, by tolerating them I am allowing them to speak, that does not mean I have to like them, or think they are speaking sense. At least in so far as I mean tolerance.

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Originally Posted by SilentScope001
By granting the Nazi the airtime he needs to promote his viewpoint, he may not be able to convince you that he is correct, but he may be able to link up with followers and sympathizers, and then be able to organize a coherent ideology. He could start convincing a couple of people, here or there, the rightfulness of his cause.
Thats always the risk of the freedom of speech, and a risk perhaps all democracies are always open too.

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Originally Posted by SilentScope001
I would grant that 'freedom of action' is going to be made illegal (however I would personally disagree with it...), but if a Nazi gains critical mass for his movement, or at the very least get enough sympathy for his cause so that the Nazi can get safe spots, your ban on 'freedom of action' will be made moot. You granted the Nazi the ability to grow in power and strength, so when the conflict does reach into blows, it would be too late to stop the damage.
Aye, the hope would be however those who stand against Nazism would proove it wrong, but as said above.

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Originally Posted by SilentScope001
Creativity is in the eye of the beholder. And you can't fault people for preferring the stability of a society over that of a canvas of different and contray viewpoints, all claiming to be correct.
That is ultimatly an individual's choice, however it would seem to me that 20th Century shows governments that crack down on its thinkers tend to be less succesful to say the least (See fall of the SU, the state of both Zimbabwe and North Korea).

Quote:
Originally Posted by SilentScope001
Intolerance is bred by people thinking they're right and fearing the possiblity of other opinons taking control and swaying people in the wrong direction. It doesn't matter if it is organized religion or the cadres of the French Revolution wanting to overthrow the monarchy. They're still intolerant.
Agreed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SilentScope001
But claiming the guy as a xenophobic idiot sorta means you are intolerant towards his ideas. And by arguing against the Nazi, you are trying to counter his viewpoints, maybe because you honestly think they are wrong, or because you fear if other people may be swayed by his lies. In which case, wouldn't it be easier just to ban the ideology to begin with?
I'm 'aggressive' towards his ideas because I think them hateful and evil. I would however take the Voltaire quote 'I disagree with what you have to say, but defend to the death your right to say it'. I would allow them to speak, while also trying to change their minds, and being under no illusions as to how hard that will be.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SilentScope001
Hm. I forgot to finish that quote. I do. Basically, if I know there is a website that is spouting properganda that I hate, I do not go to that website. If I know that there is a radio station or a newspaper spouting properganda I hate, I do not listen to it. I do self-censor myself, but I don't self-censor myself against left-wing or right-wing properganda, except I really get irriatted by a particular issue and wishes to leave it.
I hear that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SilentScope001
Freedom from 'Oppression' is not tolerance. Tolerance has everything to do with ensuring that people have the ability to choose and make desicions, and it is also the capaicty of respecting other people's beliefs, etc. You can be a non-oppressive government and still not tolerate people you hate. You can even arrest them for having unapproved ideologies, and still not be seen as oppressive, since opppression is the "the arbitrary and cruel exercise of power"...and I don't think Germany's ban on Nazism counts as being 'arbitrary and cruel'.
Very well; I would argue it only pushes the problem under ground, making it harder to track, and does it really solve the larger problem?

Thanks for reading, and SS I enjoyed your post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf
Depends on to what degree you mean conform to society. In the case of anarchist, what is its goal but the dissolution of order (ie society)? If they wish to form "little communes" where they all agree to abide by the end result of their viewpoint or just wish to discuss it in academic settings, that's one thing. However if the "virus" of anarchism begins to spread through the rest of the society at large, that society will need to act to put an end to it (or heavily proscribe it) for its own self protection. But what if someone w/in the anarchist commune decides to steal from and or kill his/her companions? Does society just sit on the sidelines and do nothing (afterall, they did go off to the "middle of nowhere", presumably w/in the country itself) or act and trample upon the ideals of the nonconformist enclave in the arguable pursuit of justice? The French Revolution is a pretty good idea of what happens when anarchy runs amok. The first WW an end result of entangling alliances buggered by the acts of an anarchist.
What would be bad about seeing that Society go down? I'm not saying I like anarchists theories, but I'm not a fan either of the conformity central we have in society either. You raise interesting questions, one of which I will leave to any anarchists present to answer



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"Many a doctrine is like a window pane. We see truth through it but it divides us from truth." - Kahlil Gibran
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